Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reject me!

When I first decided to pursue a writing career I attended a seminar on book publishing. The speaker (a successful literary agent) stood before the sea of hope-drenched faces with visions of book deals dancing above our heads, and said the "chances of getting a manuscript read by an editor or agent is about 5 in 100. Of that 5-percent, a few are published." Hope-bubbles popped around me and a few tall-postured front-row-seaters slouched in dismay. I, on the other hand, lit up like a Christmas tree. Those stats sounded terrific after a decade-plus as a model/actress! ;) If I could survive and thrive all of that, I figured publishing would be pie... (Yum.)

The book deal isn't why I write. But I do believe that persistence plus passion plus hard work pays off--for writers that often (yes, often) results in published books and paychecks. To that end, I embrace opportunities for rejection letters. ("Reject me, so I'm one 'NO' closer...!") Today I picked up a book at my favorite used book store entitled, "Rotten Rejections: A Literary Companion." HA HA HA! Even the title cheers me. *sigh*

A few worth sharing:

"We are willing to return the manuscript for the same (advance) as we paid for it."
(Given to Jane Austen in 1818...)

"...the American public is not interested in anything on China."
(Given to Pearl Buck, in response to The Good Earth, in 1931...)

"We found the heroine as boring as her husband had."
(Given to Mary Higgins Clark in response to "Journey Back to Love" in 1962...)

"The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift a book above the "curiosity" level."
(Given to Anne Frank in response to The Diary of Anne Frank, in 1952...)

In short: don't give up and keep on laughing. Worst case your rejection note may end up in a quaint, fun little book.

No comments:

Post a Comment